IN celebration of the Giants’ Heritage Project, a brief history of the club will be serialised on a monthly basis.
This month focuses on the mid-19th century.
The earliest record of a football match being played in the Huddersfield area is in 1848, when a team of men from Hepworth took on a team of men from Holmfirth near Whinney Bank in Holmfirth.
Hepworth won a close-fought game which “exhibited the usual amount of confusions, bloody noses, etc” and took the prize of £5 which had been jointly donated by each side.
There appears to have been no formal structure to sport in the Huddersfield area until the opening of the Apollo Gymnasium on August 3, 1850.
At this time the gymnasium was the only venue in the town where young men could take part in physical activities, it offered the opportunity to participate in fencing, swimming, bowling, cricket and many other sports.
In 1864 the Apollo was turned into the Gymnasium Theatre. The athletes of the gymnasium responded by forming a more organised athletics association.
In an advertisement headed Huddersfield Athletic Club, they invited “gentlemen desirous of becoming members” to a public meeting at 8pm on November 16, 1864.
The meeting went ahead, a hundred names were registered and a committee was formed.
Within a month a new gymnasium was in service in a basement on Back John William Street.
On January 27, 1866 20 members of the Huddersfield Athletic Club agreed to play a football match against 20 of the Huddersfield Rifle Corps at Rifle Field in Trinity Street.
Although the result was a scoreless draw, a large crowd was attracted.
In light of this, the Athletic Club agreed to start a football section which was to start at the beginning of December 1866.
Initially, the Huddersfield Athletic Club made no contribution to the support of the football club and each paying member was forced to pay a subscription of 2s 6d.
Meanwhile, just to remind you, the following events are being organised.
The Junior Disco - June 24, 1pm in the Galpharm Fantastic Media Suite.
The Giant Olympics, a Race Night with a difference – July 13. Entry is free for members and £1 for guests. All athletes require trainers at a cost of £2 each. Race Sponsors are also sought.
In conjunction with the Legends, we shall be running coaches to the Giants v Warrington Challenge Cup semi-final at Salford on July 15. Adults £10, children £5 or £20 (£10) to include a two-course meal. The club will also be running coaches. Book online now.
For further information please visit our website, www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk, or contact Dave at da.calverley@PhotoLens.co.uk or phone 07887 878 425.